Event Date: March 9, 2018
Anthony Chase is the assistant dean of arts and humanities at Buffalo State, where he teaches in the theater and English departments. He holds a PhD in English from the University at Buffalo, where his dissertation was on queer comedy. In his remote youth, he studied film theory, semiotics and 17th century poetry with Kaja Silverman at Trinity College, Hartford, and at the Barbieri Center in Rome, Italy, including a stint as her teaching assistant. At Trinity, he was president's fellow in theater arts and winner of the F.A. Brown Prize for Public Speaking. This year he celebrated his 25th year as the host of “Theater Talk” on WBFO, providing commentary on theater in Western New York, Southern Ontario and across the continent, and signing off each week with his familiar tag, “And I’m Anthony Chase”. He is also the creator and producer of Buffalo’s annual professional theater awards, “The Arties" presented by WBFO/WNED and was the founding theater editor for the Artvoice newspaper providing insight on Western New York and national theater for 27 years. In 2012, Spree Magazine named him “Best Media Personality” in the Best of Buffalo Awards.
On rare occasions, Chase is coaxed out on stage, most recently to play Lady Bracknell in the Buffalo State Theater Department's production of Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest".
Anthony Johnson is an entrepreneur and experienced leader of life science and hi-tech industries. He is the president and CEO of Empire Genomics and founding partner of Buffalo Biosciences, LLC.
Johnson holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Fisk University in biology and an MBA in international strategy from Manchester Business School, Manchester, England.
Laurie Dean Torrell has more than 25 years of experience in nonprofit organizations. Under her leadership since 2002, Just Buffalo has pioneered strategic collaboration; developed and implemented strategic, marketing and development plans; retained top talent at the staff and board levels; and secured grants and donations to double the budget and bring expanded literary programming to the community including BABEL. In conjunction with Just Buffalo’s 40th Anniversary (2014-2017), Torrell spearheaded JB40—a campaign to fully establish the new Just Buffalo Writing Center, expand visibility and participation, and ensure Just Buffalo’s work and mission remain vital for years to come.